Chile’s copper production fell by 0.87pc to 5.73mn mt in 2020, from 5.78mn mt in 2019, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco).
In December 2020, the South American country’s copper output declined by 9.3pc to 499,700mt, from 551,500mt in the same month of 2019, Cochilco indicated.
Copper production declined for Chile’s largest producers on an annual basis in 2020 due to lower demand. Codelco, the world’s biggest producer of the red metal, saw a 15.8pc decrease in its production to157,800mt in December from 187,600mt in the same month of 2019, due to lower production from its Chuquicamata and El Teniente mines.
BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine’s production declined by 0.66pc to 104,900mt in December 2020 from 105,600mt in the same month of the prior year, while Collahuasi’s output fell by 21.7pc to 44,200mt from 56,500mt during the same period. Production at Los Pelambres also declined by 13pc to 32,100mt in December 2020, from 36,900mt in December 2019.
However, copper output rose at Anglo American Sur by 58.3pc to 36,900mt in December 2020, from 30,800mt in the same month of the prior year. Esperanza also increased its production by 29.8pc to 14,800mt from 11,400mt during the same timeframe.
Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, has increased its price guidance for copper to $3.30/lb. The country’s copper production is also expected to increase by 3.6pc to 6mn mt this year before rising further to 6.1mn mt in 2022, Cochilco noted.
Copper prices reached $3.55/lb on Wednesday, up by 0.99pc compared to the prior day, according to Cochilco.